Hard work pays off for student balancing academics, activities
October 8, 2009
Elizabeth Skarr is a senior majoring in writing and publishing at Benedictine University. She is the managing editor of The Candor student newspaper and the president of the Programming Board, an organization that provides educational, social, recreational and cultural events for the entire campus.
Skarr’s many obligations at Benedictine have not gone unnoticed. She has been selected to receive a National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Regional Council Student Leader Scholarship for 2009. The scholarship is valued at $1,050.
The NACA Regional Council Scholarship fund was established in 1996 to provide scholarships to recipients from within each of NACA’s regions. The fund, administered by the NACA Foundation, is maintained by an annual contribution from each of the regions. The scholarships, which annually vary in amount, are to be used for educational expenses including tuition, books, fees or other related expenses. Scholarships are presented at individual NACA regional conferences.
Criteria for a NACA scholarship recipient include: must be a matriculated undergraduate student in good standing at the time of application and during the semester which the awards are received; must hold significant leadership positions on campus; must have made significant contributions to their campus communities; and must have demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.
Skarr, the daughter of Mary Skarr of Western Springs and a 2006 graduate of Lyons Township High School, has certainly met the criteria.
“I was excited to learn that I had received this scholarship,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized for something like this. I have put in a lot of hard work here at Benedictine and it’s nice to see that outside sources recognize my hard work as well.”
The NACA scholarship could not have come at a better time for Skarr. There are several expenses she would like to pay off before she graduates.
“I am now able to pay for books and graduation fees,” she said. “This can also help me with my graduate school application fees and Graduate Record Examinations.”
Skarr has been involved with the Programming Board since her freshman year in 2006, first as a staff member, then as secretary during her sophomore year, later as vice-president her junior year and now as the organization’s president.
She began her career with The Candor as a reporter during her sophomore year. She became the Scene Editor as a junior and now serves as managing editor.
“I have always liked writing and I was more comfortable with it,” Skarr said. “It was more hands-on and interesting to me more than any other subject.”
Skarr credits The Candor and the Programming Board for teaching her valuable lessons and helping her become a better leader.
“I have learned time management all three years and they have helped me take on bigger roles this year,” Skarr said. “The past three years have taught me how to listen to people, work with them and get to know them.”
Skarr also said that at times it is nice to take a step back and observe what is going on because you just never know what is going to happen next.
“You have to be able to step outside your own box to truly understand what’s going on, and the Programming Board has helped me with that,” she said.
Skarr is focusing on finishing her undergraduate career at Benedictine while exploring several Chicago-area graduate schools.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.